Happy 20th Birthday, Stephanie!

On January 7, 2012, in Dad, by Dad

My sweet Stephanie –

Today is your 20th birthday, and I miss you so much!  I haven’t written in a while because it’s just too painful, but I wanted to write you today to let you know how much I love you and how I wish you could be here with all of us and let us throw you the best birthday party that you ever saw!  Just last year for your birthday we took you to your favorite restaurant, Rok Bonki, to celebrate your last year of being a teenager.  I was really looking forward to celebrating this birthday and welcoming you to your twenties!

It seems like just yesterday that you were born, but it’s exactly 20 years to this day.  As you know, I didn’t get to be there when you were born, because I was deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba with the Air Force.  I was a young 2nd Lieutenant then, and just so excited to become your Dad.  I received an emergency Red Cross message that day (that was before the internet or cell phones) that told me you were born with no complications.  The military was nice enough to let me immediately fly home to you in California.  I got to the hospital less than one day later, and got to see you for the very first time and even take you home from the hospital!  You were so scrawny, with such long legs.  I thought you kind of looked like a cute monkey 🙂  I loved you from the very first moment I saw you that day, and have never stopped loving you ever since.  You grew up to be such a beautiful young woman, and I’m just so thankful for the chance I had to be your Dad, but I wish with all my heart that it didn’t all come to an end this past August 15th.

We had such great times together, Stephanie, and not a day ever goes by when I don’t think of you and smile.  That smile always then leads to hurt and pain as I think about how you’re gone from me, but I’m just so hopeful that I’ll get to see you again, my sweet Stephanie.

I’m running for the U.S. Congress right now, and I’ve never been more busy in my whole life (major understatement)!!!  I wanted you to know that I always carry you in my heart, and I use the opportunity to tell others about you, and also to warn others about the dangers of prescription medication and alcohol.  I know you would want me to try and save others from this horrible tragedy!

Happy birthday, my sweet Stephanie!




2 Responses to Happy 20th Birthday, Stephanie!

  1. Shawna says:

    I was doing research on you for our political profiles on NBC when I stumbled upon this, which truly touched me. I am incredibly sorry for your loss. Best of luck to you in the campaign and I wish you and your family the best.

    Stay strong.

  2. Carleen Milburn says:

    I feel so sorry for you sir, we lost our son at the age of 26. Hes been gone almost 11 months. He almost made it to his 27 birthday in Nov. I did the smae thing said Happy Birthday on his R.I.P.page.Ive started a group M.A.N.N.A. mom against needless narcotic addictions. Its a terrible tragidy. And again so so sorry for your loss. I know you have heard those words over and over again.